Windows 8.1 leaked update reveals PC-friendly changes

Leaked on various file-sharing sites, the alleged update could provide better support for the mouse and keyboard, The Verge reports.

Windows 8.1 will reach out to PC users with its next update.
Windows 8.1 will reach out to PC users with its next update. Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

An update that could hit Windows 8.1 in March should prove more friendly to plain, old-fashioned PC users.

The update already had been revealed in January, courtesy of screenshots from Windows leaker Wzor . But now that update is making the rounds of file-sharing sites, allowing more people to peek at it.

One major change spotted by The Verge is a new title bar for Windows 8 apps. Clicking specific icons on the bar lets you close, minimize, and snap apps side-by-side, just as you can do with regular desktop applications.

Right-clicking on the Start screen displays a popup menu with commands to resize, unpin and pin to Taskbar, and uninstall any Windows 8 app. A new search icon also appears on the Start screen, while a new power button lets you more easily and quickly shut down or restart your PC.

Perhaps the update's biggest improvement is the ability to launch a Windows 8 app right from the taskbar. Hover over an app's taskbar icon, and you see the familiar preview window. Click on the icon or its window, and it launches on the desktop.

Read the full CNET Review

Microsoft Windows 8.1

The Bottom Line: If you're a dedicated Windows 8 hater, the update to Windows 8.1 isn't going to change your mind. For everyone else, this collection of tweaks, fixes, and new features is useful, but everything here should have shipped in the original version last year. / Read full review

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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